Health Department Announces Flu Cases in El Paso County
The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment (EPCDHE) has confirmed the County's second and third cases of hospitalized influenza, an infant and a child. The County's first influenza case, an adult, was reported shortly after the New Year. As of January 20th, 6 hospitalized influenza cases have been reported statewide. "We may not see flu season peak until February or March this year," said Dr. Bernadette Albanese, M.D., M.P.H., EPCDHE medical director. "The Health Department wants to remind the public that the low number of flu cases we're seeing thus far isn't necessarily a forecast for a light flu season. Infection rates could escalate very quickly, in our community and statewide."
The best prevention against influenza is to get a flu shot. It's not too late to vaccinate - over 135,000 doses of flu vaccine have been distributed in our county this season. Other recommended safeguards include frequently washing hands with warm water and soap; covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing; maintaining appropriate diet, exercise and rest regimens; avoiding contact with sick individuals; and remaining home when sick.
Flu shots still can be obtained at designated clinics, doctors' offices, grocery stores and some pharmacies.